Cyclone Biparjoy will make landfall near the Jakhau port in Kutch district of Gujarat on June 15, the India Meteorological Department said on Wednesday.
Biparjoy, which has been classified as a very severe cyclonic storm, will cross the coast between Mandvi in Gujarat and Karachi in Pakistan with a maximum wind speed of at least 125 kilometres per hour with gusts going up to 150 kilometres per hour.
At 5 pm on Wednesday, the storm lay centred about 260 kilometres west-south-west from the Jakhau Port and 270 kilometres away from Dwarka.
About 50,000 people have so far been shifted from coastal areas of Gujarat to temporary shelters, according to PTI. Gujarat Commissioner of Relief Alok Kumar Pandey said 5,000 more people will be shifted to temporary shelters by Wednesday evening.
Pandey added that 18 teams of the National Disaster Response Force, 12 teams of the State Disaster Response Force, 115 teams of the state road and building department and 397 teams of the state electricity department have been deployed in different coastal districts, according to PTI.
“Officials of the departments of electricity and road and building have also reached designated spots to restore connectivity and power supply,” Pandey said. “We have also deployed teams carrying radio sets and satellite phones in the coastal region for better communication.”
The Army, the Navy and the Border Security Force have also been called to assist in rescue and relief operations.
On Wednesday, several parts of the Saurashtra and Kutch region received heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds, according to the weather department. The intensity of rainfall is predicted to increase as the cyclone approaches the Gujarat coast on Thursday, with isolated places in the districts of Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka and Jamnagar likely to witness extremely heavy rainfall, according to PTI.
The cyclone is expected to destroy thatched houses, roads as well as standing crops, and disrupt trains, electricity services and signalling systems in the northern and western coastal districts of Gujarat, the weather department warned.